Project Name Translation of Sefer Telz (Lita); matsevet zikaron le-kehila kedosha (Book of Telz (Lithuania); memorial epitaph of the Holy community)
JewishGen Yizkor Book Project Manager: Lance Ackerfeld
Jews had resided in the town since the beginning of the 17th century. Shortly after the third Partition of Poland (1795) the town fell under the rule of Tsarist Russia. In the year 1800 the Jewish population of Telz was 1,650 out of a total population of 2,500 or approximately 66%. By 1870 the Jewish population had grown to 4,400 or about 68% of the total. Just before the turn of the century the population of Jews had dropped to 51% as emigration was well under way. Jews there had suffered blood libels, epidemics of cholera, famine and poverty not to mention discriminatory laws of the Tsarist regime. By 1880 the Telz Yeshiva had been built and by 1889 had nearly 400 students and achieved great renown.
Several dozen individuals have contributed their recollections to these pages making it a potentially rich and varied volume on life in this once thriving Jewish community.
The Project coordinator will direct a fundraising effort for the translation and secure the services of the professional translators. The Project Coordinator will select the order in which to translate the text of the book, will work closely with the translators to ensure a grammatically correct and accurate translation, perform proofreading, editing, and preparation of the work for submission to the Yizkor Book Project. The resulting translations will be posted, as they are completed, on the Yizkor Book Translations site at http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/Telsiai/telsiai.html
As these books are typically written in Hebrew of Yiddish, they are not accessible to the general public nor most Jewish viewers. Their translation opens up a world otherwise unaccessible to those who want to know what life was like in the Jewish towns. As a people, Jews are instructed to remember but there must be information for remembering to take place. These translations offer a wealth of information to make remembering possible.
Currently there are several sources with historical information on Jews in Telsiai on the internet, some of which was used to draft this proposal. There is also a Telsiai District Research group via the LitvakSIG website. Most of these sources do not contain the personal information that the Yizkor book text will provide.
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Updated 4 May 2014 by LA